Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers - they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.
A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal - this time to save his own life.
Q&A with Michael Connelly
Q: The Lincoln Lawyer is your second book to be made into a movie. How does that feel?
A: I am very fortunate to have this experience even once. I wish every writer got a chance to see the written work translated to the visual. It is quite thrilling.
Q: You’ve said that Matthew McConaughey nails the character of Mickey Haller. In what ways?
A: I would say it is in many subtle ways that add up to a big performance. Mickey is a guy who is always looking for an angle. He is a bit cynical and cocky. At different times in the movie McConaughey seems to convey these character aspects without dialogue. Then when it comes to dialogue and action he delivers flawlessly. The story is about a cool, calm man being put into a desperate situation. McConaughey makes that leap convincingly.
Q: What was your involvement in the making of the movie?
A: Almost none. I looked at the first and last versions of the script, took a few phone calls from producers and location scouts, and that was about it. I think my biggest contribution outside of writing the book was giving my trust to Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, the producers. They promised me six years ago that they would keep the gritty realism of the story – the-law-in-the-trenches aspect of it. I trusted them to do that and with Brad Furman, the director, they came through.
Q: What were your immediate thoughts when you first read the script? When you heard about each cast member?
A: Depends on which script. It was a long-running work in progress. I went from not liking the first effort to being blown away by the last version. I am a huge believer in rewriting in my own work so I knew that the more time they spent with the script, the better it would become. As far as casting goes, I don't write with anybody in mind. But I saw Tropic Thunder with Matthew McConaughey in it and immediately thought he would be good at being Mickey Haller. A year later he was cast, so I was happy from the start. The rest of the cast is just fantastic. As each was announced, I became more and more excited. John Leguizamo was in Brad Furman's previous film and was just excellent. When I heard he was aboard, it was a great day. Same with all the rest. Bryan Cranston happens to be the star of my favorite show, Breaking Bad. So I couldn't be happier with him in the cast.
Q: What was your inspiration for The Lincoln Lawyer? Is Mickey Haller based on someone you know?
A: I met an attorney who worked out of his car, not because he was not doing well but because he believed it was the best way to do the job in L.A. That was the spark, and it went from there.
Q: Are there any scenes in the film that you wish were in the book?
A: There are definitely a few lines I wish were in the book. There is a scene where Mickey drops his sleeping daughter off at his ex-wife's home. It is a poignant scene that I really love and could have used in the book.
Q: Did you visit the set while they were filming the movie? What was that experience like?
A: I went four different times and scheduled the visits to coincide with the shooting of some significant scenes. I loved what I was seeing on both sides of the camera: a lot of dedication to the project. Everyone on the crew felt like they were making something good. It was great to witness.
From Publishers Weekly
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